Many overdose deaths are preventable, yet people often fear arrest if they call 9-1-1 for help at the scene of a drug overdose. AB 472, California’s Good Samaritan law provides limited protections from arrest, charge, and/or prosecution for people seeking emergency medical assistance at the scene of a suspected drug overdose. The law is designed to encourage people to seek immediate medical care for the overdose victim and stay with them until help arrives by providing limited protections from arrest, charge, and/or prosecution for low-level drug violations, including possession of small amounts of drugs and drug paraphernalia. 

The Good Samaritan Law does not apply if you’re on parole/probation (likely still a violation), have more drugs “possession for personal use” that suggests trafficking/sales, or “obstruct medical or law enforcement personnel.” In addition, you could be charged with any other crimes such as trespassing, drugged driving, etc. Learn more about the law here

Learn the signs of overdose and how to quickly respond to save a life here.